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" . . . to get a conversation going."

Seriously? These people KILL me.

Well, they tried anyway. Hope Ed is enjoying his perch on the Cone Board of Trustees. He sold the portion of his soul that claimed to be a journalist to get it.

Mary, I used to think that "getting a conversation going" on the pages of the News and Record would be helpful. But in the long run, if anything, the paper has only turned sharply further left. The people in key positions within the organization are not fundamentally acting in good faith and striving to maintain objectivity. They personally skew leftward for the most part.

At a certain point, one needs to move on.

Joe, nobody really reads the rag - they're all but giving it away. The N&O in Raleigh has taken the same sharp left turn.

If either of these litter-pan liners were more objective in their editorial stances, they might have more readers. But Buffet/et.al. MUST control the show.

In hindsight, I believe the whole "citizen journalism" thing was a scheme for the left to control/steer the local political dialogue - it back-fired as we got to see their true colors. And now, there is precious little real dialogue.

It took me a long time, but I have given up on North Carolina. I've been black-listed (for all that our dear Edward Cone has crawled into his corporate hole and will not engage on the embarrassing subject) by all of the interconnected big centers - because I have this pesky habit of telling suits/lawyers the truth that they don't want to hear.

For all of the yammering and wailing and gnashing of teeth about "academic freedom" and "free speech", and even as doctors walk away from hospital call in droves, NONE of these places wants to hire a conservative medical blogger who took on a hospital and actually "won".

As for the noble blathering about poverty and child abuse and what we "MUST" do as a society to help the poorest and sickest . . . inpatient Pediatrics is getting the short shrift just about everywhere in NC. Things are only going to get worse for the children here.

It's only about what can be done on the cheap. The things I have seen over the last two years would enrage parents - if they only knew.

There is at least one local hospital-in-desperate-need that could put my considerable skills to good use tomorrow - but since what these places do has NEVER really been about what's best "for the children", that's not going to happen. So "moving on" for me means hopping a state line, finding a place that really does care about its own, minimizing the blogging and ultimately writing a book.

Ed always did used to HATE my "long-form".

It's North Carolina's loss.

Mary, I am so sorry to hear that you are considering a move out of state. But I understand entirely if that is the route you elect to take.

I don't think the reality has yet sunk in with the general public regarding the impact that large hospital system consolidation-- and the employment and/or control of the vast majority of physicians by large hospital systems-- is going to have on matters like access to care, quality, cost, choice, and competition. This is a transformation spurred to a large extent by Obamacare-- and it doesn't just hurt physicians. It is a real issue for patients and families, as you suggest.

And I am pretty sure that Medicaid's predominance in the pediatric market in rural/small town North Carolina is what is causing hospitals to dump pediatrics. Yes, socialized medicine, we are to believe, is supposed to be great for everyone.

After two years of hell, it all came to a head for me this past fall, Joe. There are some things one encounters in my line-of-work that are simply unacceptable - and there is NO WAY to make them acceptable.

Deciding what to do about it (I had some help this time) pretty much determines who you are.

Pretty much like it did the first time.

I was gonna post more. But I think I'll save it for Housecalls - when my decisions are made.

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